The Tory pre-paid punishment and anti-welfare card. Again – kittysjones


Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith proposed that a “smartcard” scheme would see benefit payments loaded onto prepaid cash cards, and that transactions would be automatically stopped if people tried to buy anything on them but essentials. Again, writes kittysjones.

You can read her article about the subject on her blog but it is worth quoting Beastrabban\’s response to it:

Something like this has been mooted for a very long time. Back in the 1990s various countries experimented with the ‘electronic bourse’, a smart card which would allow people to pay without cash. The result was disastrous. The French eventually abandoned it, and the combined biometric ID card, hyped by the Indonesian government as ‘unbreakable’ was also, er, broken. Within three weeks of launch, counterfeit cards were being produced on the Indonesian black market.

You can be sure that Iain Duncan Smith knows this but he won’t care – the only people to suffer from such card-related crime will be the poor.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
bringing you the best of the blogs!

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


10 thoughts on “The Tory pre-paid punishment and anti-welfare card. Again – kittysjones

  1. aturtle05

    Perhaps, if the MPs were given pre-paid cards for their expenses with a bar for alcohol, tobacco or escort services would scuttle this idea quickly.

    With a pre-paid card, we wouldn’t get duck ponds or other such ridiculous claims on the MPs Expenses bill. Limit them to travel, office stationery and the occasional hotel bill and it would save needing a swathe of accountants to check their expenses.

    In fact, the more I think about it, the better it seems to give them debit cards for their expenses as they won’t be able to fiddle them so much. Ah, there’s the rub, they wouldn’t vote it in!

  2. Ian Duncan

    How do we stand up for ourselves against this evil pr**k? By us I mean unemployed, sick, disabled people etc? The unions seem to be quiet on these issues, the Labour Party are a waste of time – there doesn’t seem to be any organisation with any clout who will lend a hand so we are going to have to go it alone. Even then, how would we get publicity? The corporate media have that stitched up and no unwanted news is going to get through, it’s looking like that lesbian group who took over the BBC studios back in the day had the right idea…

    Seriously; how much more do we have to take from this malicious little headcase before we physically remove him from government? Where are the public spirited legal firms lending a hand to people who need it by taking IDS and his crew of skinheads in suits to court?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Labour isn’t a waste of time, and it saddens me that people who think so are discouraging both themselves and others from actively rehabilitating the Party of the People.
      Other than that, I tend to agree with you.

      1. Ian Duncan

        But Labour are a waste of time. I understand how unpopular it would be, electorally, for them to call bulls**t on the Conservatives’ persistent vilification of the poor et al but they seem to actually support these things, or they are at best silent on the issues. They have already promised to be tougher on ‘welfare’ than the Tories (although they have apparently promised to dump workfare, which is a start).

        Labour might be keeping their intentions hidden so as not to frighten the pre-election horses but I’m not convinced, not while that t*t Ed Balls holds some sort of sway. Besides, I thought Blair might have been acting centrist in the run up to the ’97 election and look how that went. Once bitten and all that.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Oh ye gods, another one who’s still harping on about the “tougher on welfare” line. For goodness’ sake! Don’t you ever pay attention? The meaning behind that was to get the cost of welfare down by job creation – rather than the Tory way of getting the bill down by finding ways to deprive people of the benefit they deserved. They are completely different approaches but you are conflating them – along with many others who also – still – haven’t got the message, I regret having to admit.

        If you take nothing away from this comment thread, please promise me that – once and for all – you will throw away the claim that Labour are like the Tories because they promised to be ‘tougher on welfare’ than the Tories. You are using it to make claims that simply aren’t true.

        Now, what about what I told you – that people who badmouth Labour are discouraging both themselves and others from having anything to do with the party, thereby clearing the way for any rotten apples in the party to well and truly spoil the whole damn bunch? Be honest – Labour is the only political organisation with the slightest hope of toppling the Tories next year and instead of helping make Labour electable, you are sniping at it from the sidelines. What good is that going to do? You had a chance to get involved and push for real socialist policies back in 2010 – what have you been doing since then?

        I’m sorry if this response seems harsh but it is extremely frustrating to be faced, continually, with the same nonsense about the Labour Party, being regurgitated by people who really should know better.

      3. Ian Duncan

        Well the thing is, I email Labour fairly often, chiefly every tito complain about some atrocious idea or another their wonks dream up. I always manage to mention benefits and how they affect me, I give them every opportunity to say something encouraging but they never do. Every time they stress the need to reduce the bill and get people off benefits. This leads me to believe they will be no better. What else makes me think this is Douglas Alexander has said the ‘vast majority’ of claimants should be working (this will mean disabled people) and welfare being temporary, not ‘a way of life’, as though that is even a problem. He also said the Work Programme is ‘necessary but insufficient’.

        You see why I think hat I think?

        Alexander also mentioned full employment being an aim… That is disingenuous piffle and he knows it.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        Full employment in fact means around 97 per cent employment, which is what we had until 1979 and Thatcher. It’s entirely achievable while still having people on benefits (who need them).

        I think the problem is that you are interpreting what’s being said in a way that suits you, rather than in the way that was intended.

        I have my doubts about Labour, of course, but I’m a member of the party and therefore I have an input into policy. If you’re on the outside, sniping at the party with criticisms that are nothing but urban myths – and actually preventing people from getting involved – then you’re part of the problem, not part of the solution.

      5. Ian Duncan

        This Labour Party is somewhat different to the party before Blair got his nasty little mitts on it, much less the party of Tony Benn and the likes. For an unabashed neoliberal party to talk of full employment, even if it doesn’t actually mean full employment, is dishonest. As for my interpreting what is said in a way that suits me; maybe, maybe not but I’m not putting words in their mouths, what I said was said was really said by the people I said said it O_o

        PS. What is your take on this particular scandal?

        I mean, how much leeway is a person supposed to give this gaggle of dung beetles in the Parliamentary Labour Party? How long do members like you and all the other normal folk who out and organise and leaflet and campaign for Labour stick with Miliband despite the clear contempt the MPs have for voters? When are the rank and file going to wake up and stop backing such entirely useless leadership? Can you all not at least get Ed Balls sacked? (And if you did the latter, would the Sun have the phrase ‘Ball sack’ in its headline? 😀 )

      6. Mike Sivier Post author

        Don’t you think Ed Balls did a good job showing up the evil and inept George Osborne yesterday? What a shame if you don’t.

      7. Ian Duncan

        I didn’t see it but I have a yukka plant that could make a mug of Osborne, especially when he spouted such blatant tripe that even the BBC sounded embarrassed for him and couldn’t spin it as anything other than what it as – a nonsensical lie.

        Ed Balls is still a useless liability with a dangerously wide neoliberal steak at exactly the time when we should be having their kind’s heads on pikes.

        If Labour don’t have the guts to oust Miliband then they should at least ditch Balls. Preferably get a twofer and dump Yvette Cooper as well

Comments are closed.